Thursday, December 23, 2010

Getting There

I confess that a busy schedule isn't the only reason for my infrequent postings recently. A large portion of why I've been quiet is because I just don't want to talk about it. That's unusual for me as I usually want to talk about everything (both online and off) and the dark, twisty stuff more so than anything else. But I just don't. I don't know if I haven't processed all my thoughts or I just am not sure if I want to hear everyone else's, but I just haven't been ready. What is the elephant in the room? Another baby. Or I guess, more specifically, trying to have another baby.

The decision is made. January 3, we have our second first appointment at the fertility clinic. That came only after my OB appointment, multiple surgical appointments to ultimately remove my gallbladder and a few appointments with a particularly bitchy MFM. We are going to try again. I wonder if the dildocam has missed me?

People mostly seem excited when they hear. As usual, we're mostly out of the closet about stuff. I haven't exactly been volunteering the information (see above "I don't want to talk about it.") but people ask and I answer honestly. Yes, we are hoping to have another. "So exciting!" they say. I wish I could muster even a portion of their enthusiasm. Mostly I'm just terrified.

I'm not so much scared to actually try again. At this point, the fertility clinic feels no different to me than grocery shopping; mundane, but necessary. The best I can hope for is someone acting crazy so I have a good story to tell. I really like my R.E. and I know what to expect for the most part. There is always the possibility that David's latest sperm count is even more abysmal than before and we have to go straight to IVF, but as we're fortunate enough to have infertility coverage, that isn't as terrifying as it could be.

I'm not even so scared that it won't work again. The first round of fertility treatments left me anxious and bitchy. Every waking moment was filled with the terror that I would never get to be a mother. That is something I can cross off my list. I know the joy of motherhood and like it so much that I want to do it again. I would be immensely sad not to have another child, but that is no longer the worst thing I can think of.

No, my biggest fear is getting pregnant again, getting sick again, and delivering early again. It could happen even earlier this time- maybe before viability. Maybe my baby won't even make it out of me alive. Maybe it happens around the same time or even a little later, but he or she doesn't make it. Maybe I'll watch my baby die. Maybe even the exact same thing happens and our NICU stay is the same and the baby turns out to be happy and amazing just like Robbie. The difference this time will be sitting at my baby's bedside knowing I took this risk on purpose. Every time a tube is stuffed down his throat or a needle jabbed into his vein, I'll know that I CHOSE this. Indeed, the worst thing I can think of right now is hurting another baby.

Dr. Bitchy (as my MFM shall now be known) says my risk is 12-25% of getting sick again. It "should" happen later. It "should" be less severe. She hopes I can make it to 36 or 37 weeks. I am to count on bed rest at some point. She also made sure to tell us that we needed to be risk takers to do this again; that we had to accept that having another baby meant risking our futures, our marriage, even Robbie's future if we have a disabled child. In her opinion, a disabled child is "worse" than a dead one. I found that impressively offensive, but I know she was trying to prepare us for the (her) worst. I can't imagine spending your days seeing nothing but patients who have gotten bad news would lead to the sunniest outlook on life and pregnancy.

I've been tested 7 ways from Sunday and found to be nothing but perfectly healthy. The girl at the hospital lab made me chuckle when she repeated "this is a lot of blood" over and over again when I had my labs drawn. They were all normal. I dutifully peed in a jug for 24 hours and proved that my kidneys completely recovered from the onslaught the preeclampsia gave them. My MFM was surprised. My kidneys were in worse shape than I knew, but they have completely recovered. She said we gave her "angst" and she'd prefer we adopt for find a surrogate (yes, with that money tree I have growing in the backyard) but that she would sign off on us trying and see us through to the end- whenever that may be.

She's adamant that we can not have a multiple pregnancy. She's very displeased about ART. I'm afraid there's not much to say about that. We haven't prevented pregnancy since Robbie's birth. Two and a half years later, and not so much as a late period. I will discuss with my RE ways to mitigate the risk of multiples, but fertility treatments are a necessity for us, obviously.

I know that there are people who think we're nuts to even try. Hell, I think we're nuts to try. But I also know that it could go the other way. I could go full term and have a nice, fat, healthy, hungry, full-term baby. Or something else entirely could go wrong. Pregnancy is the riskiest time in a woman's life, after all. We've discussed it and done what we can to mitigate our risks (which really consists of losing some weight and praying a lot) and are choosing to go forward.

I know that if things go badly- either really badly or just a little badly- I'm going to feel guilty. I'm going to BE guilty. But I also know that the rewards that come from this risk are unbelievably amazing. As unique as our parenting experience has been, I've never been happier. I want to be a mom again. It's just the getting there that sucks.



Tracy said...

Thanks for sharing with us, Trish.

I wish you luck at the RE's office in January. May David have lots of strong swimmers, or at least enough. ;)

All great accomplishments start with risk takers. Prayers that your next pregnancy be as smooth and as long as possible.

I hope Dr Bitchy gets pleasantly surprised with a little sunshine from you guys!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing. I am excited that you guys are "taking the plunge." This is an aside, but have you considered going gluten free? I sound like a hippie when I say that, but it has done wonders for my cycle (my sleep and my weight too)! When we do start trying for number two, I think I might actually ovulate on my own (I'm not ready for number two yet though). The more I read about gluten intolerance and sensitivity, the more I see links with other disorders including infertility. Just something to consider. Good luck -- I'll be reading!

christine said...

The doctors will monitor you because of the pre-e so much better. You WILL be ok. Think postive! I am a mom of 3 after 3 iui's, 7 ivf's, 2 miscarriages, a twin delivery with mild pre-e.
Happy Holidays!

Deep Thinker said...

Just stay positive and don't expect the worst. I wish you all the luck and I hope your family has a wonderful Christmas!

Anthony and Ashleys Mommy said...

Just wanted to say, I can empathize with the fear being preggers after preemie. While I enjoyed every second being pg with my daughter, I was also terrified. I hated how people told me I shouldn't feel that way. But I had pictures of Anthony born at 26 weeks stuck in my head and I didn't want my unborn child or the rest of my family to have to experience that ever again. Everything worked out though, and my daughter is a breath of fresh air and has really helped heal our family. I wish you lots of luck on your adventure to pregnancy and wishing you a nice boring 9 months!!


Mrs.Spit said...

I understand the value of honest medical care, but sometimes I wish they could be more compassionate.

Sending good thoughts.

Rachel said...

I find your honesty so incredibe when you are facing such scary prospects. Here's to hoping that this process goes more smoothly and of course that the final outcome is worth the stress. While we got very lucky with our last pregnancy, I think that at heart every infertile shares your fear of loss, of stress on our marriage, of burdening our first children with even more, and yet it is of course worth it in the end.

Heather said...

Go for it. I'll be rooting for you with everyone else and praying you have a very healthy conception, pregnancy and baby. Robbie would be a great big brother!

I completely understand how you feel about being blase about going to the RE. Been there. I've been married and trying for over 16 years and we've never had an oops pregnancy. I've tried all the hippie stuff and I think it helps. I've eaten macrobiotic food, cut out gluten and sugars, gone to an acupuncturist, taken Chinese herbs, done imagery from Julia Indichova. I recommend trying some of the things to see if it will help. I think it did.

And the risk takers of the world are the most interesting people. Keep that in mind.

Maureen said...

Good luck. I'm praying for a boring, uneventful, smooth conception, pregnancy, and delivery.

I can relate to your fears. Both of my pregnancies, I've been fearful that I have chosen to "risk" a pregnancy and/or certain medications during my pregnancy causing problems for my child. I had an endocrinologist refuse to continue treating me 9 weeks into my first pregnancy. As a result, I became a "case study" for the FDA and how they approve the release of new drugs because of my resulting problems. Um, yeah. The questions I get if I "caused" my second son's medical problems bites and stings (which is an inappropriate question, and it has a complicated answer that is none of their business). Every time. Still. However, I am getting to the point (some days) where I think that every pregnancy and birth has risks. It could happen to anyone.

I also hate the one set of MFM. I came close to having 3 different MFM during my 2nd pregnancy (#1 got put on administrative leave, #2 decided to move to a different part of the state, his last week of practice was to be week 36, I delivered at 35w5d). I particularly hated the one that I had with my first son (whom was going to be #3 for second son).

One of my favorite books is Expecting Adam by Martha Beck.

Amy said...

Thanks for sharing this. I love you and will absolutely be keeping all of this in prayer. That and sending those "healthy full-term" vibes that I have been promising and hoping you keep your own singleton vibes from last time. ;)

Azaera said...

Thank you for posting this, I know somewhat how you feel. I've been afraid to do anything this pregnancy because of the risk that I'll have another preemie, and I'm just nearing the bend now, the same gestation Skyler was born at..

Here's hoping you get pregnant quickly and all goes according to plan without too many bumps on the way.

chipz95 said...

You are such a wonderful mother, Trish. I wish you and David all the best as you start this journey together. Sending lots of prayers and hugs your way!

gina said...

Way to go Trish! I will be praying for all the good things and especially a longer pregnancy. I wish you, David and Robbie all the best! I hope we hear great news from you soon.

Alyse said...

That Dr Bitchy sounds so phenomenally evil I almost want to meet her. I mean, that is some seriously cunt-tastic stuff.

I am certainly not one to make judgements on another pregnancy. You are a wise responsible woman. You know what you, your body, and your family can handle. I wish you David and Robbie love and luck no matter what the decision or outcome.

Bridie said...

GOOD LUCK!!! It's a tough risk to take. We thought long and hard about it after Gavin. When my grandfather passed from Alzheimer's I realized the benefit of him having a sibling to suffer life's tragedy with was worth the risk.

I felt guilty that I couldn't be the active mom I once was while I was pregnant. I felt guilty when I went into the hospital with pre-term labor the day that Gavin started at a new pre-school. And every night that he would leave the hospital crying. And even though it was only 17 days, I felt horribly, horrible guilty the days we spent in the NICU.

It's two years later. IT'S WORTH THE GUILT.